The life of a hi-mileage K12GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2019, 10:20 pm Thread Starter
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The life of a hi-mileage K12GT

Ive been on this forum for many years but rarely post, frankly because I was too lazy to add my input. I feel I owe this form some payback so I am doing an experiment. ....

I just bought an 07 K12GT with 86,xxx miles on it in central Texas, I am the third (or fourth) owner, bike has never been in an accident, needs a clutch, and I know most of the history.

What Im trying to do is give an un-biased description of the service needed and reliability expected when the 2nd-Gen K bikes reach past 100k miles. Hopefully it may help current hi-mileage users and prospective buyers fear or eliminate fear of buying a high-mileage K-bike.

A quick search on ebay reveals that many of these bikes have been blown by the cam chain issue, and thus parts are relatively cheap....

A little backround about me, early 50's riding since 12- have had between 150-175 bikes in my lifetime, all brands (not many british) and truly like motorcycles in general, regardless of brand or type. I have also wrenched on all of my bikes since childhood and have had a bike repair shop for about 7 years in my 20s until I needed to grow up and get a real job. That being said, if you don't wrench on your own bike, don't buy an 2nd Gen K bike, it wont be cost effective for you. Otherwise if you dont mind doing your own work I feel this may be the best value ever in the sport touring segment.

More to follow.....
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 24th, 2019, 1:13 pm
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I bought my 07 K12gt almost exactly 1 year ago with 41,000 miles. I now have a little over 63,000 miles on the bike. I have ridden this bike HARD and continue to do so almost daily. The bike has been my daily Houston commuter, long distance tourer and everything in between. I am the third owner of the bike and the previous owners both kept extremely good service records on my machine. The bike was always serviced at 2 local dealerships and all recalls were addressed. Since I've had the bike, it has never seen a dealership/shop. I do all of my wrenching and maintenance myself. I bought the bike knowing it needed a clutch. I replaced it myself at 45,000 miles and the bike has been bulletproof reliable ever since. The only things I've done to the bike have been oil changes, FD oil changes, brake services, bulbs and tires. I think the only other things I'm going to do are a manual chain tenisoner swap and spark plugs sometime within the next 10,000 miles. The bike is well on track to being a 100k+ mile-eater and I'd love to own it for as long as I can. I came from 3 BMW oilheads with a combined mileage of over 100,000 miles and so far, my gen 2 K-bike has been just as good to me as any of my boxers. I strongly believe that the key to the longevity/reliability of these bikes is to ride them as often as you can. Don't let the chain tensioner/seals run dry and make sure the jump guard had been installed. Wrenching on these machines isn't all that difficult or expensive either!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2019, 9:14 pm Thread Starter
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So here is the major service history of the bike:

In service date: 6/07 from Santa Fe BMW

New rear drive @ 10k miles on 4/09
Cam chain jumped tooth chain guard installed @32,100 miles on 1/13
Adjust valves/TB sync @46,500 miles on 3/14
Fuel pump ass'y replace under warranty @ 49,900 miles on 5/14
Wheel flange replace under warranty @ 51,400 miles on 8/15
ABS module goes out @ 51,400 miles- did not fix
Replace throttle cables @ 70k miles on 4/18
Adjust valves/spark plugs @ 70k miles on 4/18

We had a mini cold front blow thru Austin this past week (only mid 90s now) so I spent Saturday in the garage installing:

-New Barnet Clutch
-APE manual cam chain tensioner
-fixed broken latches on both saddlebags (biggest PIA job ever)

Rides and shifts a million times better now. Also noticed Ive got about .030" movement at 12 and 6 o"clock on rear drive. I guess with 76,500 miles on this drive I cant complain, so a new bearing is on order.

Next projects:

Install Ohlins front and rear picked up from ebay
Metal fuel line disconnect
Abs unit send to Module Master

More to follow:
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2019, 10:14 pm
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Love my K1200RS’s currently 2, picking up a 3rd on Saturday.
Bertha I, 1998 Taxi with 57k miles, 54k mine came to me 11 years ago.
Lots of under 35k mile K1200RS/GTs for $3,500 or less.
An under valued bike for sure. At the same time my service log is in similar magnitude.
Enjoy updating your well loved K!

98 K12RS taxi, 2000 K12RS taxi, 2004 K12GT, 2009 GSA, 2014 R-Nine-T
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 13th, 2019, 7:40 pm Thread Starter
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Was able to spend a Saturday in the garage working on the GT. Decided to get rid of the ESA (or at least rebuild and save for later) and put Ohlins in. I opted to remove the oil tank instead of picking up the rear sub frame. A note to others if you do this, I ended up breaking the lower hose housing on the tank with little effort. Be super careful removing this hose. Ebay to the rescue. The rest of the job is relatively straight forward.

Front shock went in easily. Both ball joints still tight at 86K. Now the only problem with setting up sag, free sag, etc is you have to remove front tupperware to access, kind of a PIA while riding/fine tuning.

Also found a fuel leak, but at a location I have never seen posted on the boards before. The leak was coming from the lower screw hole that holds the fuel pump controller. It was leaking for awhile. The fuel pump controller silicone backing was all cracked up but it was actually still working. Crazy. So Ebay again, new fuel pump assembly.

Also, the best part- put on MV Verholen adjustable pegs. My old man knees are happy now.

New rear brake pads, and rear brake bleed. Had a hell of a time getting it bled but finally all good. Still debating on the ABS rebuild...

To sum it up I have to say if you like to work on your own bikes, don't mind searching around for parts deals, and rely on forums like this for advice, The K12GT is the best performance bargain on the planet.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2019, 7:44 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazydog View Post
Was able to spend a Saturday in the garage working on the GT. Decided to get rid of the ESA (or at least rebuild and save for later) and put Ohlins in. I opted to remove the oil tank instead of picking up the rear sub frame. A note to others if you do this, I ended up breaking the lower hose housing on the tank with little effort. Be super careful removing this hose. Ebay to the rescue. The rest of the job is relatively straight forward.

Front shock went in easily. Both ball joints still tight at 86K. Now the only problem with setting up sag, free sag, etc is you have to remove front tupperware to access, kind of a PIA while riding/fine tuning.

Also found a fuel leak, but at a location I have never seen posted on the boards before. The leak was coming from the lower screw hole that holds the fuel pump controller. It was leaking for awhile. The fuel pump controller silicone backing was all cracked up but it was actually still working. Crazy. So Ebay again, new fuel pump assembly.

Also, the best part- put on MV Verholen adjustable pegs. My old man knees are happy now.

New rear brake pads, and rear brake bleed. Had a hell of a time getting it bled but finally all good. Still debating on the ABS rebuild...

To sum it up I have to say if you like to work on your own bikes, don't mind searching around for parts deals, and rely on forums like this for advice, The K12GT is the best performance bargain on the planet.
Nice work!!! Can you give a summary of the difference the Ohlins made?? I'm considering an upgrade for my 08 K12S, though the current (non-ESA) suspension seems pretty solid (only 28K miles).

Would you mind giving more detail about how to remove the oil tank?? I need to do this for a different project on my K12S. I tried removing the four bolts holding it to the subframe but it didn't budge at all.

Agree completely, the K1200GT is a lot of bang for the buck. I've seen one locally with about 30K miles on it for sale for $4K. At that price, I really want to buy it even thought I have no need for it at all. Cruise control, heated grips and seat, electric adjust windshield, that's a lot of nice features for $4K.

Upgrade to LED light bulbs and add a nice phone mount and you've got a very nice sport touring bike.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2019, 7:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaiser View Post
Would you mind giving more detail about how to remove the oil tank?? I need to do this for a different project on my K12S. I tried removing the four bolts holding it to the subframe but it didn't budge at all.
Here you go.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Oil tank removal.pdf (194.5 KB, 15 views)

2009 K1300 GT
1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
1990 Kawasaki ZX600R
2005 R1200 RT - gone
2008 Honda CBR1000 RR - gone

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2019, 9:15 pm Thread Starter
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So I am still sorting out my suspension set-up with the Ohlins. Bought used on Ebay with the right ballpark spring rates. At the moment, I am frustrated. But I am also spoiled, I sold an 07 1200rt that had Ohlins that were absolutely perfect, the bike just didnt have quite enough power 2-up. Probably one of my dumber moves selling it....
So, it is better than the shot ESA shocks by a long haul but not perfect. I did about a 200 mile day today trying to sort everything out. What I am struggling with is even though my spring selection is good for my weight, I had to set all the preload in to get it close to the static sag preferred settings. With the recommended settings it sucked.

So I have it to a point now that it is pretty damn good on smooth to intermediate roads but rough roads it still sucks. Still fine tuning, I could ride the RT like an ADV bike and not spill my coffee, seriously, that good.

One thing to note, on the front Ohlins the preload is manual adjust: i:e you gotta remove the tupperware to adjust...PIA

To sum it up if you have the funds I'd call Ted Porter at the BeemerShop and have him give you advice- I went the cheap route and not sure it will pay off.

As far as oil tank goes I think another member just posted link.. It is easy- I always take a few pics before I tear anything apart to make sure I get everything exact going back and keep all my fasteners sorted.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 2019, 1:12 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TF1200RT View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaiser View Post
Would you mind giving more detail about how to remove the oil tank?? I need to do this for a different project on my K12S. I tried removing the four bolts holding it to the subframe but it didn't budge at all.
Here you go.
Images broken, can you try again??

Thanks!!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 2019, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jkaiser View Post
Images broken, can you try again??

Thanks!!
I attached it as a PDF file. Try this jpeg.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Oil tank removal_Page_1.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	271.3 KB
ID:	25585   Click image for larger version

Name:	Oil tank removal_Page_2.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	225.7 KB
ID:	25587   Click image for larger version

Name:	Oil tank removal_Page_3.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	86.7 KB
ID:	25589  

2009 K1300 GT
1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
1990 Kawasaki ZX600R
2005 R1200 RT - gone
2008 Honda CBR1000 RR - gone

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